A quick reminder to Cochrane and area residents that Helping Hands volunteers will be out this Saturday morning (April 13) to pick up your non-perishable food donations for the Cochrane Food Bank.
Beginning at 10 in the morning, an army of volunteers will be out and about, says Jackie Shier, Executive Director of Helping Hands. "Watch for them, they will be coming to your door, they will have name tags on saying that they are with Helping Hands Food Drive, and a lot of the vehicles will have little car flags fluttering from them that are green that read 'Food Drive Today'."
Although Cochranites can be a little slow to respond to events, Shier says volunteers are rolling in and once again willing to roll up their sleeves and help out. "Our volunteers are stepping up; Cochrane tends to be a last minute town but now that people are planning for the weekend they are starting to call in and sign up for teams or different jobs. They willingly give their time to come out and help their neighbours, which is great."
When it comes to needed donations, peanut-free school snacks, rice (or any wheat alternative), oatmeal, cleaning supplies, diapers, and canned meat/protein items are always items needed by the food bank.
Shelves are becoming quite bare, shares Shier, as it has been seven months since the fall food drive. "It is a little bit longer than normal, we usually have one every six months so the shelves are emptying and waiting to be filled."
Thanks to our supportive community, Shier is hopeful to either match the fall drive's collected donation total or surpass it. "We are hoping to get over 1200 cases, last fall we got just over that so we are hoping to equal that and really stock the shelves of the food bank. "
If you don't have any non-perishable items to donate, monetary donations will also gratefully be accepted by volunteers."When people come to the door they are welcome to hand over a cash donation. If they give their name and address we will be sure they get a tax receipt for any donation over 20 dollars. Cash donations are always appreciated because they are used for the perishable items to give gift cards to recipients so they can buy cheese, milk, vegetables and other perishable items."
For residents who will be out and about Saturday am, a 'Sorry we Missed You' card will be left for you with a mailing address for the Cochrane Activettes if you would like to donate by cheque, or you are welcome to drop off donations at Safeway, Save On Foods, or No Frills in the days following the drive.
If your donation on your doorstep is accidentally missed, you can call 587-580-9448 and someone will come by either Saturday or Sunday and pick it up from you. "Our volunteers are great, but sometimes places do get missed. We are more than happy to pop back out and pick up your donation and make sure it is included in our grand total for the food drive."
Food items can be left on your doorstep in a bag, tote or cardboard box that is identifiable.
As items come in the sorting of non-perishables will occur at Bow Valley Baptist Church, and thanks to hundreds of volunteers the food drive generally wraps up in the early afternoon.
As a last reminder please double check expiry dates and make sure items are in original unopened packaging so they can be used for those in need.